Let’s Try Kindness Therapy – #ItsTimeToChange

By Yousra Mateen

Recently I was talking to a classmate who mentioned how a girl in university was distributing chocolates to everyone, so my classmate asked why she was doing it; was it a part of a project? Or was it her birthday? So this girl who was distributing chocolates smiled and said, she was doing that because it was the World Kindness Day. We were all a little surprised first and actually contemplated on how there are these angelic sort of people who exist who distribute chocolates because they want to be kind but then appreciated how it was a good gesture and later the conversation moved on to other topics.

Later that day, I was thinking about how there was actually a day dedicated to being kind and sat down to research on it. Initially the old weird negative approach we hold towards “Hallmark Holidays” was the first thing which came to my mind, that there shouldn’t be one day for kindness, everyday should be a day of kindness but then I brushed through that thought and eventually found out that this year, the world kindness day was celebrated globally on the 13th November. The day was first initiated by the World Kindness Movement, which is a group of NGO’s working in different countries. It is mainly propagated by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation but is now rapidly gaining popularity worldwide where people are actually taking up small acts of kindness and compassion and sharing them on the social networking sites.

Even though we shouldn’t need a day particularly to be kind, and carry on everyday but maybe by initiating and forcing ourselves to be caring that one day instigate the feeling of contentment we get from being compassionate and eventually continue carrying out random acts of kindness for the rest of the year. Some of these acts actually outline our personality too in the long run as we are usually defined by our actions. There are various ways through which we can adopt to show random acts of kindness. It isn’t just restricting to giving charity or giving out candies but way beyond it. Even in simple things in life like holding doors and saying thank you and giving out hugs to people you know will feel comforted from it. It isn’t just making an old man cross a road; it is also removing that big stone on the path or offering to hold an extra bag for a friend. Not just giving your seat to elderly or disabled or pregnant, but also putting your shopping cart back in place and writing a small motivating text message and sending it to someone who really needs it at that point in life. Hence, kindness doesn’t have any form of boundaries; it can range on all levels and at all levels is equally appreciated. A very small positive gesture can make someone’s day a little better!

Let’s take out time, change ourselves and change someone else’s life positively.



The undiscovered hero

Note: This blog I’ve written in two different times hence the months are mentioned.

October ’13:

Hey lovely people,
I’ve been away for quite a long time. Got busy with exams, GRADUATED, found a job and then again got busy with that. But a couple of days ago a friend of mine, DK, asked me for my blogs and there I was, charged up again and searching for a motivation.
I searched and searched but couldn’t find anything worth writing. Its today that I realized that ‘the’ topic of my next blog was right there, giving me a pick n drop service daily. Yes, its none other than my rikshaw driver!


Last week, I called up my rikshaw driver to pick me up since I was done with the work at office. Unlike other days, he got late and finally arrived after an hour. Quietly, I sat on the back seat only to notice that there was already a girl wearing a black gown (Muslim’s abaya) sitting there. I thought she must be a student or a working lady he picks and drops. But after a conversation with her, I found out that she was the rikshaw driver’s daughter. She told me she studied in a law school and was in her 2nd year of law education.

2 days had passed and again the rikshaw driver came to pick me up with another abaya-wearing girl. After a conversation with her, I got to know that she was another daughter of him who worked as a Manager Operations in a well-reputed company. Since the rikshaw driver’s girls were giving me surprises back-to-back, I asked this daughter of him what her other siblings did. I was told that one brother worked in an NGO and other 2 siblings were studying. Till this time, I was quite impressed by the rikshaw driver because I knew he wasn’t earning more than Rs. 30,000 a month and he had still managed to get his children good education.
In a country like this, whenever people fall in the whirlpool of poverty, one of the first few things they let go of is education. Their reason “how can an empty stomach study?” looks quite reasonable at that time. So they conveniently put the necessity of education in the ‘luxury’ category and keep earning and eating. It’s thus a pleasure to see a rare specie who goes out of his comfort zone just to fulfill the necessity of education for the greater good.


January ’14:

So I was going through my archives and found this. Its embarrassing that I haven’t blogged since a long long time. I keep writing a few pieces though but uploading just this one today.
The rikshaw driver has now bought his own taxi and climbed another stair towards betterment. What thoroughly impresses me in him is his integrity. Never did I see him being ashamed of how small was the work he did. His children inherited that from him too and were proud of telling everyone that their father drives a Rikshaw. I reckon that comes with the conviction of earning through hardwork. People who lack this integrity and conviction can take this as food for thought.
My father told me once that the same Rikshaw driver was once a street hawker. I can’t imagine how he had made ends meet along with giving his children good education with such a minimal income. But God has definitely blessed him slowly but steadily as his income level increased a little with the Rikshaw and now a little more with the taxi. This signifies the value of faith in my eyes.

Now my lovely readers, if you can spread this story of my Rikshaw driver to the people you know, we might be able to discover more of such undiscovered heroes around and gain inspiration from them. More interestingly, we might even be able to create such examples of hardwork, faith and conviction.



Autograph please!

I was reading this diary my classmate Maria gave me for an autograph. There were a number of other classmates who had scribbled in that diary before me. I read the reminiscence of the best moments of their university life and went down the memory lane. I remembered the times our classes were cancelled suddenly for some un-announced seminars and workshops (oh how I loved those unexpectedly gotten free classes), I missed the times when we missed the bus and stayed in the university till the evening to eat and chatter, I wondered whether the fear of entering the library (looked like a haunting place to me), the joy when a teacher was absent, the thrill of those lovely exam days, the fun of those class activities and so much more that was a part of our routine would ever come back. I love being a student. It’s only a week remaining to our graduation and we’re going to enter a new phase of life. But that means I’ll have to grow up and be mature and act rationally in matters; some things I don’t really prefer. But only if we had an option. I remember the movie “Hook” where Peter Pan and his friends lived in Neverland and never grew up.


May for us is the month of final exams, farewells and lots of autographs. For those who find it a bit difficult writing autographs, I’ll tell you how to do it. If you like the ideas, take them. If you don’t, please be kind enough to let them stay here for someone else might come to take them.


  • Don’t be all I-wish-you-this and I-wish-you-that. It’s good to include a little wish in an autograph as a gesture of goodwill but don’t just fill a whole page with wishes. Your friend does not see you as a priest.
  • Don’t be formal as it isn’t a letter to the Dean or a proposal to the investor. Write as if you’re talking to that person in real. If you call him “yaar” or “jigar”, please don’t go with clichéd “dear” in the autograph.
  • Don’t forget to quote concrete incidents that happened with your friend. When the friend reads the diary in the later period of his life, those exact scenes will go through his mind and he’ll smile like nothing else. That’s what you want, don’t you?
  • Paste pictures, draw cartoons, or even make a little comic strip. There an uncountable ways where you can add flavor to your autograph rather than just writing everything in plain writing.
  • Remember it is bogus to write “Remember me always”. Instead, you can write “I won’t ever let you forget me” or “If you forget me, I’ll be after you like anything”. Add a personal touch to everything.
  • Last, don’t ever refuse if anyone asks you for an autograph. Those few pages will be a part of you he/ she will always remember. PLUS it will serve as a gift from you to your friend. What’s better than giving a gift you don’t have to pay for? 😛

Writing autographs in diaries and slam books is something that will never be old. This custom is actually a part of farewell that’s exactly why it still prevails in spite of the growing trend of text messaging and social media. After a few years when your friend will come across the diary while going through her shelf or clearing material from his room, he/ she will definitely go into a flashback (read Dumbledore’s Pensieve) and smile for a long long time.


A fantasy; A fairytale


Once upon a time, there was a small town girl in a far far away land. She was born in a happy family, brought up well by two awesome characters named ‘Mama’ & ‘Baba’ and lived an almost-perfect life. Suddenly the strict uncle called ‘time’ waved his wand and within no time, small-town-girl was in her teens and started waiting for her prince charming to come and sweep her feet off the ground. One sunny morning, a friend asked her “how would you want your prince charming to be?”

She replied,


who would sing to me at random moments and make me smile no matter what.

who would think I was beautiful and even if I dressed so trashy, it was classy.

who knows the right things to say and do at the right times.

who would let me gossip to him and would just smile and agree with everything I said.

who would make fun of me just to make me laugh.

who would surprise me with coming a day earlier than he told me he’ll come.

who would tell his friends about me and smile when he does it.

who would run his fingers through my hair even if it was dirty.

who would get along with all of my friends and make everyone feel at ease.

who would never be afraid to say “I love you” in front of his friends.

who would argue about silly things with me then make up.

who would be friends with my family and become their favorite.

who would tell me his embarrassing moments and make me promise not to laugh.

who would make me laugh like no one else could.

who would hold me closer than normal when I’m sick.

we would make funny faces at each other when we’re on the phone.

we would squirt water guns at each other in the house.

I want someone who would be MY BEST FRIEND.”


Today, that small town girl is a grown-up and has found her man, the story of her life hasn’t been as dreamy as a fairy tale but she believes that with her courage, she’ll mark the end of the story as “and they lived happily ever after...” 🙂